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All Things Jesuit

Reaching out to refugees

May 3, 2013

As The Commons reported in August 2011, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is teaming up with Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins to offer college courses to people living in refugee camps.

That initiative received a big boost recently, as JRS and Jesuit Commons have signed an agreement with the United Nations that will allow them to expand online courses for refugees and other displaced students.

Speaking to the importance of the program, JRS International Director, Peter Balleis, S.J., said: "Forcibly displaced and frequently living on the margins of society, we have seen how education offers refugees the intellectual nourishment to become the leaders of tomorrow. In the midst of conflict and instability, education can be a form of healing to refugees hungry to rebuild their communities." Click here to read more about the agreement.

Click here for the 2011 Commons article, which highlighted SU's own Janet Quillian, director of the international internship program, who created a course on community health for refugee students in Malawi.

G-DOG features extraordinary Jesuit

April 23, 2013

"G-DOG," a new documentary featuring the life and work of Greg Boyle, S.J., is out now.

Known as "G-Dog" by those he serves, Fr. Boyle is founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries, which helps former gang members in Los Angeles turn their lives around. Homeboy has a 70 percent success rate at redirecting kids away from gang life.

"G-DOG," as described by Docurama Films, "tells the entertaining, hilarious and unlikely story of how a white Jesuit priest became an expert in gang lives…(H)e works by a powerful idea: 'Nothing stops a bullet like a job.' G-Dog's unstoppable compassion has transformed the lives of thousands of Latino, Asian, and African American gang members." Click here to learn more about the film.

As anyone who's heard him talk or has read his book Tattoos on the Heart can attest, Boyle is immensely gifted at telling the stories of the people he meets. He has spoken at SU in recent years, including the Spirit of Community celebration in 2007 as well as Leadership Week in 2010.

New leader

April 8, 2013

Michael Sheeran, S.J., is the new president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). He began April 1, succeeding Gregory Lucey, S.J., who served as president from 2011-13. Father Sheeran previously served for 20 years as president of Regis University in Denver.

Father Lucey is returning to Spring Hill College to become chancellor, having previously served at its president. He also served as vice president for development at Seattle University in the late 1970s and '80s.

SU President Stephen Sundborg,S.J., is chair of AJCU's Board of Directors, which is comprised of the presidents of the 28 Jesuit institutions in the country.

Visit AJCU to read more about Father Lucey's accomplishments as president of the association and  Father Sheeran's background.

Birthday sweets

March 26, 2013

By Annie Beckmann

In the last edition of The Commons, we visited with Margaret Garrett, Mary Odegaard and Kip Kniskern, the trio of chefs who cook for SU's Jesuits.

Odegaard, left, is the cook who asks all members of the campus Jesuit community what their favorite desserts are, then takes the time to make them for birthday celebrations. When a priest is too agreeable and says most any dessert would be just fine, she asks, "But what did your Mom make for your birthdays that you really liked?"

Here's a look at the list of favorites she creates for birthdays of every Jesuit.

Dave Anderson - German chocolate cake

Mike Bayard - Pumpkin cheesecake with chocolate crust

Brendan Busse - Berry pie

Emmett Carroll - Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Bob Egan - White cake with white butter cream frosting

Peter Ely - Chocolate cake with white frosting or carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

John Foster - Marsala zabaglione or crème brulee

Ron Funke - Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Lorenzo Herman - Rum bundt cake with walnuts

Pat Howell - Carrot cake with nuts and cream cheese frosting

Mike Kelliher - Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting

Pat Kelly - Vanilla ice cream pie with graham cracker crust

David Leigh - Angel food cake with chocolate frosting

Tom Murphy - White cake with peanut butter frosting

Natch Ohno - Chocolate cake with raspberry filling and chocolate frosting

Pat O'Leary - White cake with lemon frosting or lemon meringue pie

William O'Malley - Tiramisu

Trung Pham - Cheesecake

Matthew Pyrć - Cheesecake

Jim Reichmann - Lemon cake with lemon frosting

Steve Sundborg - White cake with lemon curd and white butter cream frosting

James Taiviet Tran - Angel food cake

John Topel - Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting

Pat Twohy - German chocolate cake

Josef Venker - Vanilla cake with strawberries and whipped cream, lemon meringue pie or vanilla bean ice cream with madeleine cookies

Bill Watson - Chocolate cake with raspberry filling and raspberry cream frosting

Eric Watson - Chocolate cake with raspberry filling and chocolate frosting

Jason Welle - Chocolate/peanut butter ice cream cake 

Contemplative Leaders in Action

March 12, 2013

SU graduate Haley Woods is living proof that a Jesuit education can lead you in some unexpected directions. A participant in Contemplative Leaders in Action, a two-year program launched by Magis: Alumni Living the Mission last year for emerging leaders in the 20s and 30s, Woods is a full-time high school teacher, bike aficionado, and now the founder and owner of a brewery. Visit CLA to read her reflection on what she's been doing since graduation, the experience of starting a business and how the Contemplative Leaders in Action is a steadying force in the midst of an incredibly busy schedule.

I am Jesuit educated

February 26, 2013

The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities has launched a new website featuring a new "I am Jesuit educated" campaign. The campaign features, among others, public health leader Dr. Anthony Fauci, professional football player London Fletcher and financial manager extraordinaire Peter Lynch. Visit "I am Jesuit educated" for the full campaign.

The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities serves the 28 Jesuit institutions in the United States. Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., is chair of AJCU's Board of Directors, which includes the member schools' presidents.

Heroic Leadership

February 12, 2013

ChrisLowney_ATJChris Lowney, author of Heroic Leadership, is coming to SU to talk about the application of Ignatian principles in the 21st century. He will speak at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, in Pigott Auditorium.

Lowney is a former Jesuit and former managing director of J.P. Morgan & Co. In Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company that Changed the World, he details how the Jesuit approach to molding innovative, flexible global thinkers worked in the past and has resonance today as leaders wrestle with rapid change and limited resources.

The event is supported by the Endowed Mission Fund for Advancing the Jesuit and Catholic Mission and sponsored by the Institute of Public Service, Albers School of Business and the MFA Arts Leadership Program.

From the archives

Following are excerpts from an article on Chris Lowney and his book that appeared in the July 7, 2008 edition of Broadway & Madison, the printed precursor of The Commons:

On a Friday in 1983, Chris Lowney dropped out of a Jesuit seminary.

The following Monday, he started a career at J.P. Morgan. He went from owning little more than a black suit to working for one of Fortune magazine's favorite investment banking firms, where one boss promised to make recruits "hog-whimperingly rich." He rose to managing director in New York, Tokyo, Singapore and London.

So much for the vow of poverty. Yet much of Lowney's Jesuit education stuck, and he began to ponder ways in which Jesuit thinking and organization might be applied to the business world. The connections grew even clearer as he began to write what would become Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-year-old Company that Changed the World. First published in 2003, the book has since been translated into more than a half a dozen languages and has gone through four hard cover printings.

As he thought of the early Jesuits, Lowney went on to write, "I became convinced that their approach to molding innovative, risk-taking, ambitious, flexible global thinkers worked.  In some ways-dare I say-it worked better than many modern corporate efforts to do the same."

When it comes to risk-taking, ingenuity and adaptability, Lowney believes, Ignatius of Loyola and his small band of Jesuits had it all over today's business elite, launching an extensive education system and the largest religious order in the world.

"What's more," says Lowney, "in a world that sometimes seems to believe that the only way to become successful is to shun principle, their approach to living and working shows how we might be principled people and be successful in our efforts."

As Lowney explains it, Jesuit recruits succeeded because self-awareness helped them understand their strengths, weaknesses, values and worldview. Ingenuity helped them innovate and adapt to a changing world. Heroism energized them and others.

And love, says Lowney, let recruits engage others with a positive attitude that fostered trust and a desire to see people grow. For all its potential workplace benefits, love is something that Lowney says is rarely spoken of in management literature. "It's fine to love a candy bar and it's fine to love your wife and kids," he says by phone from New York, "but the one thing you can't love is the people you work with."

That's President Herman to you

January 29, 2013

SU Jesuit Lorenzo Herman, who is studying in the School of Theology and Ministry, has been installed as president of the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association.

A recent article on Herman's installation, which appears on the Society of Jesus in the United States website, begins:

"Jesuit Lorenzo Herman’s life is anything but predictable. Prior to joining the Society of Jesus in 2007, Herman – known for his nerves of steel – worked an in-flight refueling specialist aboard a KC135 Stratotanker, a flying gas station. After leaving the Air Force, Herman turned his attention to nonprofit work, spending the better part of a decade helping African-American and Latino HIV and AIDS patients navigate the healthcare system. This week, the Cleveland native takes the reins of the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association. Not bad for a kid raised a Baptist."

Click here for the full story.

(Photo by Chris Joseph Taylor)

What did you get?

January 14, 2013

"What do you want?" and "What did you get?" are two questions that seem to dominate our conversations between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In his latest offering for The Jesuit Post, SU Jesuit Brendan Busse tells us what he got for Christmas this year. (Hint: It wasn't a pair of socks.) Check it out here. Busse, an instructor in Matteo Ricci College, is a regular blogger on The Jesuit Post.

 

Red Friday, the Jesuit way

December 4, 2012

You could say that school spirit met Ignatian spirituality when these five SU Jesuits gamely showed off their new red threads on a recent afternoon. Pictured here from left to right flashing the Redhawk are Trung Pham (Fine Arts), Matthew Pyrc (Campus Ministry), Steve Sundborg (President), Jason Welle (Education Abroad) and Mike Bayard (Campus Ministry).

JesuitRedShirtsBillOMalley_ATJ

And now for the back story…As we know, faculty and staff are encouraged to cap off the work week by decking themselves out in SU colors for "Red Fridays."

Pyrc got to thinking that there had to be a way for him and his Jesuit brothers to do their part, so he went online and found the red clerical shirts--turns out you can order clerical shirts in just about any color of the rainbow. Equally important, he found five other Jesuits willing to participate.

Bill O'Malley, S.J., (left) who is a visiting professor in Matteo Ricci College this year, was tied up with academic duties on the afternoon of the photo shoot, but he did show up, properly attired, just moments after the rest of the group disbanded to get his picture taken with the president.

Father Twohy goes to Rome

November 19, 2012

Story By: Annie Beckmann

As he stood in the sprawling Vatican City piazza of St. Peter's with thousands who made the pilgrimage to watch Pope Benedict XVI canonize seven saints, Patrick Twohy, S.J., thought to himself, "This is so right, the Church honoring those who lived the beatitudes."

Father Twohy, whose calling to serve Native American people began nearly 40 years ago, couldn't imagine he'd have an opportunity to make the trek to Rome in late October to celebrate the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha, the very first Native American saint and a member of the Mohawk Tribe. It was the Seattle University Jesuit community that stepped in and wanted to sponsor his trip.

Twohy had never been to the Vatican. Excited as he was before he left, he found himself wrestling with the dichotomy of the setting's grandeur and Kateri's humility.  

"I was having a hard time putting together the greatness of Rome and the humbleness of this woman, the difficulties she faced so courageously and how it fit together," he said.

For a little insight, he met with Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain. "He told me this was the way it should be because these are all the most beloved," Twohy said.

He signed on to travel with a group of about 40 Native people from several Northwest tribes. Two or three other large Native groups, many of them Mohawks from upstate New York and Canada, made their way to Rome as well.

"We were there with many tribes. They all claim her because the honor of one is the honor of all. That certainly was the case on that wonderful day," Twohy said.

As a member of the Tekakwitha Conference-the only annual gathering of Catholic Native peoples in North America-Twohy had prayed with 800 to 1,200 others for the canonization of Kateri each year since Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1980.

Born in 1656 in upstate New York, Kateri was first recommended for sainthood more than a century ago. It wasn't until six years ago, though, that her role in the healing of a gravely ill boy from the Lummi Reservation near Ferndale, Wash., Whatcom County, was deemed a miracle. After 6-year-old Jake Finkbonner received last rites and lay on his deathbed from a flesh-destroying bacterial infection, prayers to Kateri began and a relic of hers was placed on his body. The boy's healing played a role in Kateri's canonization. Jake Finkbonner, now 12, and his family also attended and were celebrated at Kateri's canonization.

Twohy said that for him Kateri represented the efforts of Native women to keep their people together.  

"To have her honored is to honor all Native peoples, the sanctity of their lives and the beauty of their culture. I was blessed to be standing in St. Peter's piazza with all these grandmothers and great grandmothers whose guidance I so value," said Twohy. Today he leads 12 Jesuits who serve Native Americans throughout the Northwest with the Rocky Mountain Mission Ministry.

The Jesuits have a 170-year history with Native peoples, according to Twohy, who in 1973 moved to the Colville Reservation at Nespelem, Wash., in Okanogan County.

"That was the beginning and it has gotten deeper and more profound with each year for me," said Twohy, who later lived on the Swinomish Reservation in Skagit County for 21 years. "Now I see the world with a double richness. I belong to the Catholic tradition and that world view and to those people whose wisdom spans thousands and thousands of years. I want to journey forever with them into the next world."

Twohy joined the priesthood at 18.

"Ever since I was young, I've always been drawn to the mystery, that which is hidden in all things," he said. "When I met the Jesuits who taught me in high school, I was deeply impressed with the width of their learning, the width of their hearts and their engagement with the world."

Remembering Jesuit martyrs

November 6, 2012

This month, as we commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the slaying of six Jesuits and their two lay companions at the Universidad Centroamericana, we also remember all the members of the Society of Jesus who have given their lives in service to a faith that does justice. 

One of those Jesuits is Rutilio Grande, S.J., for whom a building in the Murphy Apartment complex is named. A proponent of liberation theology, Father Grande was murdered with two other Salvadorans in El Salvador in 1977. Grande's death had a significant impact on his friend, Archbishop Oscar Romero, who after the assasination took an active role in advocating for the poor and oppressed. Archbishop Romero was murdered three years later.